The French import Them opens with the written statement “These events are based on a true story,” then drops into a nail-biting sequence in which a mother and daughter are creepily disposed of on a desolate road in the middle of the night. The next day, schoolteacher Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) and her writer boyfriend Lucas (Michael Cohen) retire for the weekend to their massive, isolated country home—which lies right off the same road of the mother-daughter disappearance. Shortly after dinner and a bedroom romp, the two fall asleep, only to be awakened by a thump in the night. What follows is an excruciatingly tense, nerve-wracking game of cat and mouse between the couple and a deadly force that seems to be everywhere at once in their home. The characters in
Them are paper-thin: They’re mere props to be manipulated by co-directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud, who want nothing more than to scare you shitless in what, with its nonstop chase sequences and booby traps, often comes off as a live-action video game.